In my 2009 year end blog I hinted at the new start-up being created by my friend Sacha Labourey, the former CTO of JBoss. I am happy to say the past 9 months have flown by and Sacha and the team have created something truly exciting.
The vision of CloudBees is to offer a Java Platform as a Service. This is cool, but the market will take time to evolve. The interesting twist that CloudBees has come up with is to offer real services to the Java community as a Cloud based service (kind of like how SalesForce is useful to sales teams, CloudBees will initially be very useful to development teams).
I call the core of the offering “Hudson as a Service” (HaaS). In case you do not know, Hudson is an open source Continuous Integration project. It allows development teams to set it up to watch for any code changes in places like svn and git, automagically do a build with things like Ant and Maven, do tests and then take actions like rolling back or rolling forward! It has reached similar reach as JIRA with well over 20,000 sites using Hudson – and it is growing fast.
Hudson is perfect as a Cloud Service. It is kind of hard to set up (the CloudBees HaaS makes it easy), it is bursty (so CloudBees charging by the minute makes a lot of economic sense), development and release teams never have enough machine resources for all the processes Hudson needs to spawn (no problem with a cloud of worker-bee Hudson Slaves dynamically scaling up and down to handle any load), and it works best when it delivers on the promise of CONTINUOUS Integration (CloudBees is ready when you are).
Some of the Alpha customers were already running Hudson on Amazon, and CloudBees will be able to significantly drop their costs since there is a low fixed fee for the Hudson Master and the slaves are dynamically provisioned and shut down as well as billed by the minute (with 0 system administrator overhead). Alpha customers who are running their own Hudson Master and slaves were able to get all the resources they needed during peaks and only paid for that.
I like being involved as an advisor to CloudBees. The company is using and creating cloud technology to solve real problems in the right way.
The public Beta is open. If you are a Java shop, or know of one – tell them about CloudBees. It is worth a look!